Dos and Don'ts on hiring the right sales and marketing team

Running a successful tech business while also attempting to break into new markets internationally is a bit like spinning all your plates in the air at once. So it’s essential that before you scale-up all parts of your organization run smoothly and everyone involved in it is working to an optimal level.

Your sales team is your driving force, your key to success. Partnering with an outsourced sales agency will impact your top and bottom line. Your B2B tech business needs to enter your chosen new market and start generating profits fast. You have to get there and hit the ground running with great sales representatives before the competition. Behind them, your B2B lead generation and marketing have to really focus on generating that new revenue for the top line and consistently improve the bottom line. An outsourced sales agency can provide you with a full or part team for that sort of end-to-end level of efficiency.

But, you need to choose wisely and well and get the relationship right. Make it, don’t break it — and note some dos and don’ts on hiring the right sales and marketing team. 

Do be clear on what you need to achieve for your sales and marketing functions

Clarity from the outset of what your business and your sales and marketing team needs to succeed, and how much you are prepared to spend to get there is the best basis for an honest relationship with your chosen sales outsourcing agency.

You have a good idea of where you want to be in a year or two years — so share your plan. If you clearly know your KPIs then you’re better placed to choose a sales outsourcing partner and hire the right sales and marketing team who is aligned to you and to those KPIs. One whose methodology and tools fit your business and will get the job done. One who is specialized in your vertical. 

Don’t stretch out the selection process of outsourced sales

It’s so easy to get bogged down and waste valuable time on the selection stage. There are many companies out there who are all vying for your attention and your business, but you only need one. Success is built on specialization. If they’re not industry-specific to your vertical then you are wasting your time. Ask the questions. Read their client testimonials and the reviews. If they cannot successfully sell themselves to you how can you expect them to provide people who will sell FOR you?

Sales Force Europe provided senior and well-qualified account executives and sales representatives in-region to help Streetline launch new European countries quickly and effectively. Within months we had signed with strategic partnerships and engaged with enterprise-level opportunities.” says Asdrubal Pichardo SaaS CEO.

It’s not that you need to rush it, but also not spend too much time reviewing outsourced sales agencies who can supply great sales and marketing teams but who are not exactly aligned to your business — and who may not understand your very specific needs. You want domain knowledge and useful existing networks to help take you to market fast. Fact: International markets can take up to 12 months to get off the ground. You don’t have a year to wait — so allow the experts to take you there in a matter of weeks instead. You want local international sales representatives with contacts and experience who sell tech all day long. 

Do be prepared to spend what it takes for scaling up

Bring your CFO into the discussion and the final decision. The old adage “You get what you pay for” rings true and there are plenty of companies out there who will cut costs —  and cut corners.

Also, while outsourcing a sales and marketing team may not be the cheapest option, you are availing of the best expertise and experience, a guiding hand into your new market. Traditional hiring may not have the initial outlay but can cost dearly with a bad hire or a long, drawn out recruitment process. 

You might be inclined to save money by sending your own successful sales and marketing team to your new market, but do they understand the language, the culture and the nuances of doing business there? Have they already got contacts there? Do they know the competition? The answer is most likely a resounding 'no'.

Don’t dive into the bargain bucket of outsourcing companies

Don’t opt for the bargain deal based on pricing structure alone. Shop around, buy wisely and well, and budget ahead for a service that ticks all the boxes. Ask yourself if they are just giving you just what you ask for, or can they provide innovative insider knowledge on areas you haven’t thought of that will add to your success in a new market?

To get started with hiring the right sales and marketing team you might even be tempted to just hire the services of a cold-calling agency. Can cold-calling even work?  You need product recognition, brand recognition or at least category recognition. Hooking up with potential customers (difficult when so few are back in the office) and then spamming them on LInkedIn is not going to cut it. Lengthy and generic sales pitches are dead. 

You need real and genuine relationship-building and warm leads from the outset. Outsourced B2B lead generation will work to create ideal customer profiles (ICPs), warm messaging and cadence across a multi-channel approach in the local language. All ready for a handover to the international sales representatives to turn into closed deals and more sales. 

Do prepare to be involved from the sales assessment stage

Hiring a sales outsourcing agency means working with them from the get-go. Ensure that they offer you a full sales assessment, which will clarify your strengths and weaknesses, your messaging and who is your competition. Bring the whole team together and agree on where you are now and where you want to be in a month, or 6 months time. A clearly set-out plan to strengthen your strategy for moving forward and paving the road to success in new territory abroad by hiring the right sales and marketing team.

Playing an active role means that you are involved all the way, and are in the best position to regularly evaluate and scale up or scale down as required by your business and its needs. Regular reports mean you’re always kept firmly in the loop.

Don’t be distant from your representatives, even though you might be remote

The pandemic saw many of us firmly rooted to our desks, usually from the home office, via Zoom and other apps. Masks went on and shaking hands and doing business up close and personal went out of the window. The slow return of normality is good, and travel and countries are opening up again, however tentatively. Perhaps you intend to travel and personally oversee your businesses' scale-up to another country, or you intend to keep your feet firmly back at HQ, you need to know you are always fully in control and reportable to.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter where you are. You can and will — with a combination of the right sales and marketing team and the right outsourced sales agency — be involved and stay firmly in control, and have the best chance of success for your new international scale-up.

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